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Summer 2011 Host's Guide: Barbecue Bonanza: Cocktails

Christy Grosz

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Hosts who serve out-of-the-ordinary cocktails demonstrate that they have thought out every detail. Still, before your bartender starts multiplying recipes, Francesco Lafranconi has a bit of advice: "It’s very important to make the recipe at least once, to learn how the ingredients taste."

Though cold beer is always a refreshing partner to the scents and tastes of a barbecue, Lafranconi’s Rub ’n’ Rye offers a twist. "It’s basically a bourbon sour that I like to stretch with the rye beer," he says, adding that the reddish-colored beer has a spicier flavor, much like the spice in a rye whiskey.

The Crema de Mezcal he uses in his Beso Ahumado picks up grilled food’s smoky accents, combining herbal notes from the Green Char-treuse to mesh with the Mescal and Key lime pie dessert.

Rub ’n’ Rye serve with the barbecue
11/2 oz. rye whiskey
11/2 oz. fresh lemon juice sweetened with 3/4 oz. agave nectar
1 to 2 dashes Bitter End Memphis Barbeque Bitters
1 tsp. mesquite-spiced salt (for the glass rim)
4 oz. rye beer
Orange peel, for garnish
Pour rye whiskey, lemon juice, and bitters into an ice-filled pilsner glass rimmed with mesquite-spiced salt. Top off with rye beer. Stir gently and garnish with orange peel.

Beso Ahumado (Smoked Kiss) serve with dessert
1 oz. Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal
1/2 oz. Green Chartreuse liqueur
11/2 oz. fresh lime juice sweetened with 3/4 oz. agave nectar
1/2 oz. limoncello, lightly shaken with 1 oz. fresh heavy cream
Dehydrated lime wheel dusted with a pinch of spicy smoked chile salt, for garnish
Pour the Crema de Mezcal, Green Chartreuse, and lime juice into an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously for a few seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with limoncello whipped cream and garnish with lime wheel.